A fiery nebula and stellar nursery

A Thing or Two About Loyalty, Part II

In attendance: Admiral Mitchell, Commander Bom, Commander Arnet, Commander Tora, Commander Fuller, First Lt. Melina, Nurse Ceja, Ensign Aklar, Citizen Drosan

Following up on Nicole Cervanny's lead on Bill Tankersley, (TEM: "A Thing or Two About Loyalty, Part I") the Potemkin orbits the moon of Boses, where the intelligence agent may be hiding with the help of a Tellerite smuggler named Tristel Rendilten. After a long night of scanning the moon, the Potemkin's sensors pick up what they believe to be a Federation shuttle on the surface, near an abandoned mine.

While Nicole Cervanny begins her promised hour with Agents Hyt and Benten, Commander Bom leads an away team on the surface of Boses's moon in search of Tankersley. Mineral deposits on the moon make tricorder scans unreliable except for at close range, which Mr. Bom gripes about, but soon enough the away team finds an abandoned Federation shuttle.

On board the ship, sensor consoles are giving the bridge crew trouble--in the form of small electric shocks. Aklar can't get the starboard sensor array to work either--a situation the Admiral seems to have some idea about. "It's been acting up ever since..." he begins, then trail off with a frown. "Let's use the port array," is all he finally says, much to the surly Aklar's chagrin. The electric shocks continue however, affecting Ops, then tactical, and finally blowing out Aklar's console just as he steps away. In moments, the bridge goes dark.

The away team discovers the shuttle, as indicated in the Potemkin's scans, but it appears uninhabited and undamaged. Nearby is a door to the safehouse where they presume Bill Tankersley is hiding. Splitting the away team in two, Commander Bom takes up a support position with Mr. Drosan a few meters away while Commanders Tora and Fuller and Nurse Ceja approach the door. They are met with phaser fire--automated, it appears. The forward team scrambles, and it is Commander Fuller who has the best shot at the defensive system. He takes it, and disables it.

In an effort to get control of the situation on the Potemkin, Admiral Mitchell transfers all command functions to the battle bridge, and assigns Lt. Duran the conn while he and the primary bridge crew investigate the power outage. They quickly find the epicenter: Deck Beta, Conference Room, where Nicole Cervanny was being interrogated by Hyt and Benten. Inside, the conference room is a wreck. Pockmarks and scorches cover the walls, and Agent Hyt lies injured on the floor. Agent Benten stands over a prone Cervanny, meanwhile, with a phaser in his hand...

While Bom and Drosan work to investigate and secure the unmarked Federation shuttle they have christened "The Good Ship Lollipop," Tora, Fuller, and Ceja enter the safehouse. What they find there is hardly what they would have expected: two charred corpses, and everything else scrubbed clean. One of the bodies is human. The other is Tellerite.

In the scarred conference room, Hyt and Benten explain that Cervanny had a little surprise for them: a Starfleet Intelligence device that plays havoc with computer systems. "Good for causing small scale damage and enough of a distraction to escape," Benten says. Cervanny is only stunned, but it appears she has double-crossed Admiral Mitchell and the Potemkin crew once again. As the stun wears off, Admiral Mitchell confronts Cervanny with just that accusation, but she protests her innocence. Confirming her complicity will be easy enough, Warp reckons--he'll just call up the security video from earlier. But Benten and Hyt tell him they disabled the cameras. "Standard procedure," Benten explains.

With nothing more to learn from the bodies on the surface, Ceja has them beamed directly to sickbay. The only thing Bom and Drosan can discern from the stripped down shuttle is that it arrived around the time Tankersley disappeared from Boses--which they take to be a bad sign for Tankersley, all things considered. In addition to human DNA, there are also traces on the ship of Tellerite DNA. The two, it seems, came here together. But how are they both now dead? Someone else must have come with them--or laid in wait for them.

Things are looking more and more suspicious in the conference room. Cervanny continues to plead innocence, and a thorough sniffing of her hands by Aklar reveals, to him at least, that she could not have set off an electronic disruptor unless she was somehow miraculously wearing gloves. (Which she is not.) Hyt and Benten want to whisk Cervanny back to her cell at Starfleet Intelligence, but Aklar makes a surprising accusation--he thinks one of THEM is responsible for the explosion.

As the away team from the moon's surface returns and joins the crew in the conference room, the facts unfold. The device used leaves traces of ozone, Aklar explains--and neither Cervanny nor Hyt smell of ozone. Benten, however, refuses to let Aklar sniff his hands. They would have residue on them regardless of whether he set the device off or not, he argues, as he took hold of it post-event. Ceja, ever observant, notices an odd angle on one of Benten the Benzite's four thumbs, and asks to see it. To everyone's surprise, she pulls the thumb right off, revealing a human pinky inside!

With a gasp, Cervanny recognizes the disguised human and slaps him. It's all the evidence Bom needs: "Mr. Tankersley, I presume?" he asks, and Ceja's scans confirm it. Here, in the room, is the man they went to the moon to seek. WHile everyone is wondering what role Hyt played in all this mess, Nguyen stumbles into the room on the pretense of "seeing what all the fuss was about," and he and Hyt recognize each other immediately. "You!" they say simultaneously. "Let me guess," Varric Drosan says. "Section 31 buddies." They are, indeed, agents of Section 31--sent here to collect information on Ard Jarikar, and then take care of the threat to the Federation in their own unique way. Admiral Warp orders them taken to the bridge.

To Nicole Cervanny, Admiral Mitchell can only apologize. "You were on the level, and I let them sow clouds across my vision. I let you down," he tells her, and then he honors their bargain by letting her go...until the next time the Potemkin crosses paths with Nicole Cervanny.

NOTE: After the sim, Mr. Aklar was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade!

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